Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Exploring the Americas: Tastes Like Chicken

...or Polynesians. Or Polynesian chicken. What?

From LiveScience:
Popular history, and a familiar rhyme about Christopher Columbus, holds that Europeans made contact with the Americas in 1492, with some arguing that the explorer and his crew were the first outsiders to reach the New World.

But chicken bones recently unearthed on the coast of Chile—dating prior to Columbus’ "discovery" of America and resembling the DNA of a fowl species native to Polynesia—may challenge that notion, researchers say.
But I heard something a while back about the Chinese explorers:
After reading "1421," Liu Gang, a Chinese lawyer, realized the potential significance of a map he'd purchased for his private collection. Dated 1418 and clearly depicting the outlines of both North and South America, the map could be used to support Menzies' theory if it proves legitimate.
Authoritative? Not by any means, but enough to suggest there may have been at least one other...hold on, I'm getting some information from the first double aughts A.C.E. Seems that there's some evidence the Vikings may have been involved in exploration as well:
The latest evidence confirms that Scandinavians reached the North American continent almost 500 years before Columbus. Find out where they came from, how they traveled, what they did in America and how long they stayed.
So there are at least three civilizations that have a reasonably - if questionably - credible claim that they were in the Americas before Mr. Columbus.

Why do we still worship Chris Columbus, even if he never set foot in what is now the United States? Why is Columbus Day (Oct. 8th in 2007) a federal holiday?

He wanted to spread Christianity, you silly.

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